Tag Archives: repair

Bruised boat, bruised ego

starboard_hull_damageLast summer I was merrily heading into Toronto’s inner harbour through the Eastern Gap*. I was busy lounging behind the wheel and talking with friends when one casually said “we are headed straight for a big green thing”.  That big green thing being the big steel buoy making the inner entrance to the Eastern Gap. I turned the boat to port and the wake pushed the buoy away from the a boat,  only to have the buoy swing back back with a vengeance and smack the hull just below the rub rail on starboard. Ouch.
The impact shattered the gel-coat and the underlying layers of fibreglass. It didn’t look too bad and I left it for the season as it is well above the waterline close to the forward sling marks.

What king of sailor sails straight into a big green buoy that he knows is there… ugh.

Repair #1
Finished repair.

Peeling back the layers of crushed gel-coat and fiberglass mat, I discovered the damage was much more extensive than it appeared. There was considerable de-lamination between the many layers however the lowest layers were just bruised, not cracked. The damage also extended in a much larger radius then the gel-coat damage itself, presumably from the fibreglass flexing in.
I couldn’t access the damage from the interior unless I did a massive cabin disassembly, so rather than cut a hole , I decided to grind down and re-glass from the outside, leaving the bottom most layer intact.

After applying a few layers of mat and resin I levelled the patch with a sander and enlarged the grind. You can see the wound get bigger in the photos. Complicating the repair job was an unusually cold spring. I used a heat gun to warm the hull first and then gently warm the repair at several intervals to ensure the resin kicked.

Continue reading Bruised boat, bruised ego

Inverter repair – xantrex xpower 1000

cooked mosfet
cooked mosfets

This summer I fried the old Xantrex xpower 1000 inverter. I can’t remember if it was the blender the did it….  This is a 2007 square wave inverter and I think the “digital” speed controller on the blender did a number on the inverter as well as frying the blender. I should upgrade to a pure sign wave to keep my electronics safe. but it will be nice to have a backup inverter to the older Xantrex onboard.

Continue reading Inverter repair – xantrex xpower 1000

Helm Seat repair

This fall the original owner surfaced and sold me all the missing bits and pieces – some pieces were more important then others, like sails and cushions, others just nice to have like spare filters and doo-dads.

One piece that was missing was the Helm Seat, at first I thought no problem, I can live without one- then a season of sailing made me realize that yeah – a seat would be good. I was going to make one from teak, a welcome addition to the cockpit which is a sea of white gel-coat – but all that is moot now.

The seat was taken off as it had water in it and the previous owner didn’t want frost damage. I could hear water sloshing around inside but couldn’t see how it got in. I moved it around my storage locker and one day noticed it was dripping, then I tilted it and left it. A couple of hours later there was a decent puddle on the floor coming out of a hairline crack in the gel. I was amazed at how much water is in the seat!

20131229_140134This generation of Hunter has the Helm seat swing back and flip over so the bottom of the seat forms a step on the swim platform. I discovered that one screw on the bottom that holds the rope pierced the cavity and was “sealed” with a dab of silicone…….! I checked the other holes with compressed air and they are all sealed.

I enlarged the hairline crack with a burr and drilled out all the screw holes to a larger diameter. Everything gets a epoxy and the leaky spots were filled with colloidal silica and epoxy.

my motor pees!

It’s 5 days to launch – I have two motors, but as of yesterday neither was working. I was getting a bit stressed-out as I need to retrieve my tender and move the boat to it’s mooring. It’s not a long trip from launch to mooring, about 10 minute motor, but I don’t want to paddle, and getting towed seems somehow – sad.

pump and impeller look good

The ancient (1982) Johnson 9.9hp was running but no cooling water was flowing. The previous owner said it was running fine two years ago…. but I was afraid potential purchasers might have run the engine dry and damaged the impeller.

A teardown revealed a good looking impeller, my guess is the copper feed tube wasn’t seated properly in the seal on top of the pump. If you look in the photo you can see it looks damaged from the tube sitting on the lip.

folded seal -just above screwdriver

I gave a blast of compressed air through the tube and it blew out the pee hole indicating no blockage in the waterjacket.

I put it back together, filled the garbage can with water and viola! it started immediately, settled down to a nice idle.

Phew. Who knew a peeing motor could be so relieving.

I am greatly indebted to LeeRoy Wisner’s awesome Johnson website for its factual and anecdotal information on keeping old Johnson outboards alive.

That afternoon, I went down and put the rudder on, and finished the bottom paint under the support pads and on the rudder.

final touches on bottom paint

to do list

One of my purchasing requirements was that the boat had to be in “drop in the water and go” condition. Given my penchant for things that need restoration, my time limitations with a full time job and young family – I didn’t need another project. That doesn’t mean the boat couldn’t use some work – but there was nothing that would prevent me from just going sailing in the spring, like a hole in hull, or a dead inboard motor.

However, every boat needs maintenance, so here’s my list in a loose order of what needs to be done ending in make work projects:

  • install holding tank (have hoses) done! replaced all hoses, added antisiphon loop
  • replace port seals or upgrade to modern flush mounted plexi almost done!
  • polish and wax hull  wow – a two day full throttle attack!
  • overhaul winches 3 out of 3 done.
  • reseal chainplates done!
  • remove and refinish misc brightwork –  little bits-done
  • repair and refinish original teak hatchboards one down, 1 to go done!
  • outboard: starter? does it run? – turns over, compression test & spark =ok, repaired grounding stop button
  • stepped-down power for:  GPS, stereo & iPod from main battery bah, don’t need
  • refinish motor lift & rudder mounts (teak)
  • inspect, repair, refill compassreplaced with new Plastimo
  • inspect, diagnose,  repair/replace knot meter – terminal…. use hand held gps
  • sand hull & paint? – new coat of vc17, yearly
  • investigate condition of original teak & holly flooring
  • real woodveneer on  bulkhead- remove plastic woodgrain
  • new cupboard doors & hardware – plastic woodgrain surface